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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-91-0230-2543, International Association of Fire Fighters, Henderson, Nevada.
Kinnes GM; Short S; Deitchman S
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 91-0230-2543, 1995 Oct; :1-40
In response to a request from the International Association of Fire Fighters on behalf of members of the Clark County and Henderson fire departments (SIC-9224), an investigation was begun into exposures to chlorine (7782505) during a leak at the Pioneer Chlor Alkali Facility, located adjacent to the Henderson city limits in Nevada. Estimates indicated that 70 to 100 tons of chlorine were released. Major highways were closed and many residential areas were within the cloud. Fire fighters involved in the immediate area were hosed down with water following the incident. Of the approximately 200 fire fighters involved at the scene, several were sent to the hospital for evaluation. Four were admitted to a hospital, and six others held overnight for observation. During the incident, chlorine concentrations in the air ranged from less than 0.2 to 17 parts per million (ppm). Of the fire fighters responding to a subsequent questionnaire, most reported inhaling chlorine gas, even though most used respirators during the incident. Symptoms included coughing, tightness in the chest, wheezing, tearing eyes, sore throat, and headache. The duration of symptoms increased with proximity to the leak itself. Analysis of the findings suggested that the occurrence of symptoms may have been related to improper fit or to delays in putting on respiratory protection and the use of structural fire fighter's protective gear instead of appropriate chemical protective clothing.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-91-0230-2543; Region-9; Hazard-Confirmed; Toxic-gases; Firemen; Fire-fighting; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Personal-protective-equipment; Author Keywords: Fire Protection; fire fighters; firefighters; chlorine; respiratory symptoms; police; incident command system; health effects; self-contained breathing apparatus
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division